Woodside, partners dismayed Australia, East Timor have no plan for Greater Sunrise

This undated map provided by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade shows Australia's maritime arrangements with East Timor

East Timor will reap most of the revenue from an "historic" treaty signed with Australia aimed at resolving a boundary dispute involving the Greater Sunrise oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea.

The Australian Government says the treaty marks the beginning of a new era in the relationship between the two countries.

The disclosure of the letter comes just hours before East Timor and Australia are to sign a historic treaty in NY to delimit the border between the two countries, which is part of an agreement about sharing the resources to develop the Greater Sunrise wells.

Agio Pereira, East Timor's deputy minister of the prime minister for the delimitation of borders, said treaty negotiations had been "tough" but in the end the two nations signed "a good treaty".

But while the treaty settles the sea border dispute, the disagreement over how to share the potentially lucrative gas field is ongoing.

"So clearly, should the development of Greater Sunrise proceed through the work of joint venture partners, then substantial benefits will flow to Timor". "Today we continue to lean on global assistance to complete our sovereignty".

East Timor's minister for delimitations said development of the gas fields through a pipeline that would reach the south coast of his country would be a "game-changer".

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Ms Bishop said she looked forward to release of the UN Conciliation Commission's independent report and analysis of the options to develop Greater Sunrise.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres witnessed the signing of the treaty, which was the first-ever reached under a special conciliation mechanism of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

He said the signing of the treaty was a "momentous day" that would be "recorded in Timor Leste's history".

"This ceremony demonstrates the strength of worldwide law and the effectiveness of resolving disputes through peaceful means", he said.

Following Tuesday's signing, Indonesia, which has a long maritime border with Australia, issued a statement welcoming the peaceful settlement of the Australian-East Timorese dispute, but said it "reserves all its rights against any outcomes that might potentially affect the sovereign rights of Indonesia" under the United Nations sea convention.

East Timor, one of Asia's poorest countries, has been in dispute with Australia over the sea border since its independence from Indonesia in 2002.

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